My first five months at Keytree have flown by, but I’m still learning something new every day. Being immersed from the beginning on a multi-project programme hasn’t prevented me from meeting other staff. Through socials, presentation evenings and hot-desking in the office, I’ve managed to get to know many colleagues and hear about some of the other projects currently on the go.
There is such a mix of people here, all with varying backgrounds but everyone has something different to bring to the table. I’ve met many people in the office and now see many familiar faces as I scan around the room.
Everyone has been so friendly, and I’m yet to meet anyone who doesn’t enjoy working here – in fact, the phrase “work hard, play hard” comes to mind. Everyone knuckles down throughout the day, but there’s always time to go out and get lunch together, and the socials have been ideal for getting to know colleagues outside of the work environment – each one has been fun and unique such as crazy golf in the heart of Shoreditch.
A friendly start to workplace learning
I’m a third-year student at Cardiff University studying Business Information Systems, and as part of my one-year work placement requirements, I joined Keytree in September 2016 for a nine-month internship.
I feel extremely fortunate as Keytree has been very accommodating with my course requirements, allowing me to move between three areas of the company; office and administration, testing and project management. So far, this has shown that although I’m still not entirely sure which particular area I would like to pursue, it has clarified the company ethos I want to work with, and taught me valuable employability and life skills along the way.
Since I arrived I’ve never felt lost, which is helped by the lack of social hierarchy – everyone has been very approachable, happy to listen and get to know you as a person, rather than just another employee. I even met the founders of Keytree within a couple of months, and I’m currently working alongside some of Keytree’s top people – surrounded by such a wealth of knowledge and having the support from these people has given me confidence in my decision making and increased my level of understanding.
From presentation evenings, and talking to other employees, you very quickly get an understanding of the diverse range of projects. Transport for London, Jaguar Land Rover and Greggs spring to mind and I’m impressed by how taking on projects for such large companies is all part of the day to day operations.
“I was recommended to approach Keytree, and it has surpassed all expectations. I needed workplace experience to get an idea of which path my career aspirations would follow and help me choose my final year modules and dissertation topic”
Getting the most from your work experience
Before coming on placement, I had multiple people warn me “be prepared to be the coffee girl” while being stuck in the photocopy room – or doing all the jobs that no one else wants to do but working at Keytree has been so far removed from any of this. I haven’t felt like an intern since the day I arrived, and I’ve been treated as any new employee would.
This approach has involved me being fully integrated into a project team, and handed real responsibility, which directly impacts the project. I manage my workload and have weekly meetings with my Project Manager to review my progress and discuss the challenges for the week ahead. I love the way Keytree doesn’t spoon feed, but support is readily available if needed, allowing you to get what you want out of the company – as long as you put in the work.
I’m coming to the end of phase one of my internship, working as part of the project management team – but when I started and to ensure an easy transition into the role, I attended a PRINCE2 course. This training allowed me to quickly pick up responsibility for managing the team, from building up a Wiki page, to assisting in the restructuring of the project backlog and managing cross-programme risks and issues. Keytree has also offered me visibility of other projects, to see varying styles and project types. Through this – I have become skilled in Atlassian products, Jira and Confluence.
There’s no such thing as a typical day – each week brings new challenges and opportunities, and I feel very fortunate to have found Keytree.